By BassFan Staff
Just as several anglers fished themselves into Bassmaster Classic contention with big bags on day 2, others fished their way right out of it. One of those was veteran David Walker, who was in 3rd place after day 1 but just barely made the Top-25 cut with a 34-03 total after a second-day sack that contained only four keepers and weighed just 9-06.
"At first I really couldn't put my finger on what the problem was," he said. "My first couple places had high water or muddy water and I thought that might've been it, but then I went to other places that looked fine and I was still unable to get the bites.
"As the day went on, I realized that whatever was broke had to do with me."
He said he just couldn't find the correct cadence with his rattlebait.
"You can say you're out there throwing a lipless bait and that all sounds well and good, but there's really a whole rhythm to it – it's not just color or sound. Today I didn't change what I needed to change in regard to that.
"I had a couple of fish that just slapped the bait. One thing that's common in water that's still pretty cold is you'll pull the bait into the fish and hit him and you'll feel him run off, and I felt that a few times. Other than that, I didn't lose anything, but I just didn't get the bites."
Following a reports on some other competitors not featured in BassFan's day-2 main story:
15th: Martens Up by 6
> Day 2: 5, 21-11 (10, 37-05)
Aaron Martens focused on shallower water on day 2 and caught a stringer that was 6 pounds heavier than his day-1 haul.
“I wish I could have this whole thing from practice onward to do over,” he said. “I figured out something today that I don’t think happens much on this lake, and I don’t know that anybody else is onto it. I’m excited, and I think it’s going to be really good tomorrow.”
“Today was hard-core. I burned a lot of calories and I’m sore. I fished a lipless rattling bait all day, and had to snap it hard to keep it out of the grass. I was really ripping it, snapping it up and letting it fall. I caught 10 keepers today in 2 to 4 feet.”
He wasn't sure whether he put too much pressure on his primary area to have it remain productive for the final day.
"I beat it up pretty good today."
16th: Rojas Drops 8
> Day 2: 5, 15-06 (10, 36-05)
Dean Rojas dropped 8 places in the standings with a bag that was 5 1/2 pounds lighter than the one he caught on day 1. He said the water in the overflow-type pond he's fishing rose considerably today and also cooled off.
"It stayed the same temperature the whole time – it was 55 degrees all day," he said. "Yesterday it came up 7 degrees and got to 60."
He caught six keepers, the biggest of which was a 4-pounder.
"I look at this as still part of the 2013 season and I've got one more day. I get to go in front of the crowd one more time."
19th: Better Day for Lane
> Day 2: 5, 22-08 (10, 35-07)
Bobby Lane's day-2 sack was the fourth-best in the field and moved him up 22 places in the standings.
"Catching 13 pounds yesterday was a thorn in my side – you can't win the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville by doing that, although Paul Mueller caught 32 pounds today and went from being 18 pounds back to 6, so anything can happen on this lake," he said. "But I'm a lot happier today and I'm actually excited because I made the cut.
"I went to a spot on the river channel where I'd caught some decent ones in practice and the first one I hooked was a 6-pounder. I said, 'Please don't let this be a fluke and please let me get this school fired up.' They got fired up and I whacked them for about 2 1/2 hours.
"After that it felt like all the pressure was off and all the work I put into doing this was worthwhile. It wasn't a gigantic sack and I'm not leading the tournament, but it was nice."
21st: Bad Call by Roumbanis
> Day 2: 3, 11-10 (8, 34-12)
Fred Roumbanis believes he could have done much better on day 2 if not for an error in judgment. He ended the day two fish short of a limit.
“I was fishing shallow and trying to do the same thing I did yesterday (when he caught a 9-pound monster),” he said. “Yesterday the mud line was like a wall and the migrating fish stopped right there. I knew exactly where they were.
"Today the line was gone and the fish were harder to find. For whatever reason, I decided to leave and fish deeper, in 6 or 7 feet, but it wasn’t happening. I still don’t know why I did that.”
He went to his big-fish spot first thing this morning and there was a boat there already.
“He was nice and moved for me, but it wasn’t any good. I covered a lot of water today, and maybe ran more than I fished. I don’t know what I’ll do tomorrow. I need to get two giants and three good ones to have a shot.”
22nd: Come-Down for Carden
> Day 2: 4, 12-03 (9, 34-07)
B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier Coby Carden bagged 10 pounds less than on day 1, coming up one fish short of a limit. His average size shrank from over 4 pounds per fish down to just 3 pounds each.
“I’m not sure that I did anything wrong today,” he said. “I know I’m around them. The water was up about a foot but it’s still muddy. If it would clear up some tomorrow I’m sure I could catch a good bag.
“Yesterday I caught 12 or 14 fish, but today I got only eight or nine with just four keepers. I did catch my biggest one today, about a 5-pounder, on the same place I got the 7-10 yesterday. That place is 12 feet deep, but mostly I’m fishing a swimbait and a spinnerbait shallow in 5 or 6 feet.
“I need a big weight tomorrow, and I’m not sure I fished shallow enough today. I’ll be stirring up mud tomorrow.”
25th: Combs Last Man In
> Day 2: 5, 13-15 (10, 34-02)
Keith Combs' weight fell off by more than 5 pounds on day 2 and he slid from a tie for 12th place to becoming the last angler to make the Top-25 cut.
The places in the northern part of the lake that had given him a 20-pound stringer on day 1 were unproductive the following day. He also lost a couple of big bites.
"I had to come back close to the launch to catch my limit," he said. I knew I was not going to win once I went back down there."
26th: Rare Sunday Off for KVD
> Day 2: 5, 17-02 (10, 33-04)
Kevin VanDam missed the Top-25 cut for just the second time since the Classic moved to February in 2006 (he was 30th at the Red River in '09).
"I started in the same area I did yesterday, throwing a (Strike King) Red Eye Shad on main-lake shallow grass ridges," he said. "I was catching fish, but the size wasn't there. I also spent some time shallow and got a few good bites, but I couldn't find an area that had a bunch of fish."
He didn't put a 5-pound-plus fish in his box on either day.
"I lost two of them at the boat today and I also lost two (on day 1), so it wasn't my best tournament execution-wise. That happens, but you don't want it to happen here."
48th: Omori Mystified
> Day 2: 2, 4-10 (7, 19-06)
The Guntersville fish eluded Takahiro Omori for the second day in a row.
“It’s just that the water was so cold, I think," he said. "I fished shallow, in 5 feet or less, but I just couldn’t catch many. I caught more yesterday than any other day I’ve been here.
"I didn’t catch anything the first 2 days of practice and didn’t learn anything new on Wednesday. The storm wasn’t as bad as the water being so cold.”
He estimates he ran probably 100 miles a day to reach the shallow grass flats he felt most comfortable fishing. He managed only two average keepers on day 2.
54th: Browning was Stymied
> Day 2: 1, 3-07 (2, 7-03)
Stephen Browning endured a second straight one-fish day – a scenario he couldn't have imagined following practice.
"I don't know if I fished shallow enough," he said. "I probably had too good of a practice and had too much confidence. I didn't change up when that big storm kind of damaged some of my water.
"I was trying to run a bunch of red clay banks, and they're good if there's not a bunch of mud on them. I never got going – I kept trying to move and trying to move and I never got out of the gate. It was a tough tournament."